Amalgamates

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The Amalgamates are a coed collegiate a cappella group at Tufts University in Medford, MA.

Amalgamates
Fall2011Mates.jpg
The Fall 2011 Amalgamates
Background information
Also known as The Mates
Origin Medford, Massachusetts, United States
Genres A Cappella
Years active 1984–present
Labels A Cappella Records
Website Official Site

With members from all over the United States and the world, the "Mates" have a tradition of musical excellence represented by both the current singers and a network of over 170 alumni worldwide. The Mates arrange and learn a new repertoire of rock, pop, R&B, alternative, and jazz covers every semester, performing at Tufts as well as other universities, local secondary schools and at private functions around New England throughout the school year. Each year, the Mates travel within the US or abroad on a Spring Break tour, performing at various venues including colleges, high schools and a cappella festivals.[1]

History[edit]

Name and Formation[edit]

The Amalgamates were founded in 1984 by Tufts students Joanne Cohen, Craig Everett, and David Wiley. "Amalgamate" means "combine or unite to form one organization or structure"; thus, founding members chose the name Amalgamates to indicate the formation of the first coed a cappella group at Tufts. With the aid of Marti Fernandi and Fiona Wright-Hall, members of the two other existing groups, the Beelzebubs and Jackson Jills respectively, the fledgling group held auditions in November of that year, and from the thirty people who auditioned, chose ten more members. The Mates first official college performance was at the University of Vermont, followed soon thereafter by their first home concert at Goddard Chapel with the Bubs and the Jills on April 4, 1985. Other performances in the spring of 1985 were at the University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, and on campus at the dedication of the newly built Mayer Campus Center.

Reputation[edit]

The Mates became an a cappella household name with their rendition of Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror, with soloist Amy Birnbaum, on the 1996 release Hat Sale! Get Mama!.[2] The song went on to win the 1997 CARA Award for Best Coed Collegiate Song and runner-up for Best Coed Collegiate Soloist, and was chosen as the opening track for BOCA: Best of College A Cappella, Vol. 3.[3] Subsequent albums have perennially been selected for a variety of Awards; in addition to CARA and BOCA honors, Mates tracks have appeared on Voices Only and SING compilations.

25th Anniversary[edit]

The group has firmly established traditions that include the homecoming show in the Chapel, a weekend retreat, biannual studio album releases, and a number of social events that have become an intrinsic part of the Amalgamates experience. In 2009, in honor of the milestone 25th Anniversary, over one hundred Mates alumni gathered for Homecoming weekend, October 9-October 11, for a gala event.[4] A committee of alumni worked in conjunction with the Tufts Alumni association for over a year to organize an evening that included remarks by Mates from across the years, a slideshow, and casual performances by the groups from each year. Mates alumnus John Clark, a recording engineer, enlisted alumni and current group members to create a tribute album of rerecorded or never-before recorded songs, even going so far as to use the original soloists.

In addition to the gala, other events that took place during the course of the anniversary weekend included the traditional singing on the Tisch Library roof, a visit to the Mates Room at the Hayes House on Chetwynd Ave., and a Sunday morning brunch at Christopher's Bar and Grill on Porter Square in Cambridge.

Recording[edit]

See Discography.

Touring, Gigs, and Workshops[edit]

National Anthem at Fenway Park
Performing the National Anthem at Fenway Park
Sept 15, 2009

In addition to on campus performances that span from short "dorm sings" during orientation to Chapel shows such as the annual Homecoming performances, to special university events such as trustee dinners at President Anthony Monaco's Gifford House, the Mates travel throughout Massachusetts and New England regularly over the course of the year. The group often performs at middle schools and high schools, typically conducting a workshop with the schools' students in addition to the show. Workshops typically explain the way a popular song becomes a Mates song and involve teaching a portion of a Mates song and basic vocal percussion techniques to the students.

Each year, the Mates travel to a more distant destination for a spring break tour. Past tour locations include Madrid and Barcelona, London, France and Germany, New Orleans, Jamaica, Florida, California, and Aruba. Most recently, the Mates toured in Austin, Texas.

The Mates have sung at a number of prestigious venues and events, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, for then-presidential candidate John Kerry at a fundraiser at the Boston Convention Center, the Wang Center (now the Citi Performing Arts Center), Disney World, and Boston's Symphony Hall. On September 15, 2009, the Mates performed the National Anthem at Fenway Park, for the second time in just two seasons.[4]

Discography[edit]

As of 2014, the Mates have recorded 13 studio albums. They are currently working on their fourteenth untitled album.

Logo
The Mates Logo

Odd Man In (2013)[5]
Hands Off The Mannequin! (2011)[6]
25th Anniversary Tribute Album (2009)
Teaser - Extended Single (2009)[7]
Prime (2008)[8]
Baggage Claim (2006)[9]
Stopping for Breakfast (2004)[10]
Bamboo (2002)[11]
Juice (2000)[12]
Grandma's Camper (1998)[13]
Hat Sale! Get Mama! (1996)[2]
Unexpected Guests - Live (1994)[14]
Quarter Past Six (1991)[15]
The Chartreuse Album (1988)[16]
Strange Pair of Shoes (1986)[17]

Awards[edit]

Year Presenter Award Result
2014 Voices Only Voices Only 2014 Selection "Undisclosed Desires", originally performed by Muse [18]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Nominee, "Odd Man In",[19]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Nominee, "Paris (Ooh La La)" [19]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Soloist Nominee, Gabrielle Bills for "Paris (Ooh La La)" [19]
Best of College A Cappella BOCA 2014 Selection "Paris (Ooh La La)", originally performed by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals [19]
2013 Contemporary A Cappella Society of America SING 10: Neon Selection "Undisclosed Desires", originally performed by Muse [19]
Voices Only Voices Only 2013 Selection "Paris (Ooh La La)", originally performed by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals [18]
2012 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Winner, "Boy Lilikoi",[19]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Winner, "Hands Off The Mannequin!",[19]
Best of College A Cappella BOCA 2012 Selection "Right As Rain", originally performed by ADELE[6]
2011 WERS All-A cappella Album of The Month, December 2011 "Hands Off The Mannequin!", WERS All- A cappella [18]
Voices Only Voices Only 2011 Selection "When The Day Met The Night", originally performed by Panic! at The Disco [20]
2010 Voices Only Voices Only 2010 Selection "Let It Die", originally performed by the Foo Fighters [21]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Runner Up, "Let It Die"[22]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement Runner Up, "Let It Die", arranged by Lori Allen and Brie Bills[22]
2009 Contemporary A Cappella Society of America SING VI Selection "Let It Die"[23]
Voices Only Voices Only 2009 Selection "The Pretender", originally performed by the Foo Fighters[24]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Shortlisted, Prime[25]
2007 Best of College A Cappella BOCA 2007 Selection "Good Luck", originally performed by Basement Jaxx[26]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Nominee, Baggage Claim[27]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement Nominee, Warning Sign, originally performed by Coldplay, arranged by Evan Barnathan and Eric Stahl[27]
2005 Best of College A Cappella BOCA 2005 Selection "Everlong", originally performed by the Foo Fighters[28]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Nominee, Stopping For Breakfast
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Nominee, "Everlong"
WERS All A Cappella Album of the month, March 2005 Stopping For Breakfast
2003 Best of College A Cappella BOCA 2003 Selection "Killing Me Softly", originally performed by The Fugees[29]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Soloist Runner Up, Becky Rubin on "Killing Me Softly"
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Nominee, "Killing Me Softly"
2001 Best of College A Cappella BOCA 2001 Selection "I'm Your Baby Tonight", originally performed by Whitney Houston[30]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Winner, Juice[31]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Winner, "I'm Your Baby Tonight"[31]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Soloist Winner, Becky Rubin on "I'm Your Baby Tonight"[31]
1999 Best of College A Cappella BOCA 1999 Selection "I Don't Want To Wait", originally performed by Paula Cole[32]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Nominee, Grandma's Camper
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Soloist Nominee, Courtney Simson on "I Don't Want To Wait"
1997 Best of College A Cappella Vol. 3 Selection "Man in the Mirror", originally performed by Michael Jackson[3]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Runner Up, Hat Sale! Get Mama!
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Winner, "Man in the Mirror"
1992 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Album Runner Up, Quarter Past Six[33]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Song Runner Up, "Pretending to Care", originally performed by Todd Rundgren[33]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement Winner, "Mother's Pride", originally performed by George Michael, arranged by John Churchwell[33]
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Best Mixed Collegiate Soloist Winner, Leslie Ahern on "The Man With The Child In His Eyes", originally performed by Kate Bush[33]

External links[edit]

The Tufts Amalgamates - Amalgaweb (official site)
The Contemporary A Cappella Society (official site)
Read Mates reviews by the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB)

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b Hat Sale! Get Mama! on Amalgamates.com
  3. ^ a b BOCA Vol. 3
  4. ^ a b Tufts E-News: On the Right Note
  5. ^ "Odd Man In"
  6. ^ a b Hands off the Mannequin!
  7. ^ Teaser
  8. ^ Prime
  9. ^ Baggage Claim
  10. ^ Stopping For Breakfast
  11. ^ Bamboo
  12. ^ Juice
  13. ^ Grandma's Camper
  14. ^ Unexpected Guests
  15. ^ Quarter Past Six
  16. ^ The Chartreuse Album
  17. ^ Strange Pair of Shoes
  18. ^ a b c [2]
  19. ^ a b c d e f g [3]
  20. ^ [4]
  21. ^ Voices Only 2010
  22. ^ a b 2010 CARA Winners
  23. ^ Sing VI: Sunny Side Up
  24. ^ Voices Only 2009
  25. ^ CARA Shortlist
  26. ^ BOCA 2007
  27. ^ a b 2007 CARA Nominations
  28. ^ BOCA 2005
  29. ^ BOCA 2003
  30. ^ BOCA 2001
  31. ^ a b c 2001 CARA Winners
  32. ^ BOCA 1999
  33. ^ a b c d 1992 CARA Winners